Sometimes we have the unique experience of meeting someone at a special time and knowing that we have been there for them, they have been there for us, or that something special has occurred. Airplanes and airports are fascinating places to observe and engage. There is a sense of anonymity we find when we are sitting next to a stranger on a plane or in a terminal. Some people put on headphones and disconnect from it all. Admittedly, I have my moments of tuning it all out. But then there are times when I find that I was in the right place at the right time.

Mourning Coffee

I was once sitting in first class next to a man whose wife was in coach. I offered to switch seats with her so they could be together. I had my reading club book ready to go and was looking forward to quietly reading. But, my book could wait. The man must have needed to talk to a stranger right then or didn’t want to send me to the virtual “back of the bus” in the sky.

We ordered coffee from the flight attended and then he explained to me that he was flying to his mother’s funeral. It was obvious that he was incredibly sad and needed some comfort. So, I gently asked him about her and he shared as much and as little as he wanted. We talked about other things, none of which I remember. I just know that I tried to allow for any silences he might need but also to help him get through the flight as well. The flight passed quickly and, when we landed, he thanked me. It seemed I had been in the right place at the right time to help him get through that leg of travel. I had made a small difference in someone’s life that day and I felt good about it. There are definitely some things more important than books. Thank goodness I didn’t put on my headphones the moment I got on the plane and tuned him out.

Making Time for Love

Houston Hobby Airport is one of the slowest airports I’ve ever been to in the middle of the day. When I arrived at my terminal, I was convinced I was in a closed section of the airport and needed to find my gate because I was clearly nowhere near any activity. I discovered I was actually in the right place. I just didn’t seem to have a whole lot of company.

Then, Jason came on the scene. A tall, ruggedly handsome guy and the only person in a mile radius (it seemed). SI have no idea how our conversation started or how we ventured onto relationships but, before we knew it, we were sharing. Jason was having trouble understanding why a girl he was dating wasn’t more accepting of the fact that he worked long hours and that his job was and would have to be a priority. I suggested to him that he really didn’t like her that much. He stared at me in surprise. I shared with him that, if he really liked her, he would be figuring out how he could see her more. Not, telling her to “deal with it” because he was so busy with work.

That was in 2005.

We have kept in touch since then, him emailing to ask if I’ve found my Jewish husband yet, me emailing to find out if he has found a girl more important to him than his work.  He was in town a few years ago and we had a really fun night together (he was one of my Valentine’s Day dates that year, as it happens). We even talked about whether there was a way for us to consider dating since we seemed to get along so well. We decided we were better off as friends.

Yesterday, I got this text:

I mean really… How many people do you actually meet at an airport? You were just crossing my mind. :)

My reply:

You’re my one and only.

Today, I looked him up on Facebook and saw that his relationship status has been changed to “in a relationship.” It sounds like Jason found a girl worth making time for…

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

  • Share/Bookmark

Comments are closed.